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mledbetter

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Everything posted by mledbetter

  1. I don't know about a "how to" but a headless instrument is a slave to the hardware thatmakes it possible.. ABM is the biggest manufacturer of the headless hardware (if not the only one) and you can get it at allparts. Go to allparts and type "headless" in the search box. Not cheap. You neck profile and radius just needs to match the head plate and then design your body's bridge area around around the 2 piece bridge, with a cutout to be able to access the fine tuners. For a trem you would need to chek out the trans trem. Been a while since i've played a floyd, i'm not sure the fine tuners have enough travel by them selves to be your only tuners. Honestly though, I wonder if you need the head plate. You might be able to leave an inch long extension past the nut and use string ferrules to make your string interface. Or glue an ebony plate on the end and route out string channels. Addition.. Check ebay under "headless ABM" it pulls back two. A good rule of thumb, if allparts, wd or mighty mite sell it, it's 99% likely to be on ebay at 20-40% discount. These are buy it now for 209, retail is 285 so that's not too bad.
  2. Woodcraft: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=2021 That's to the 64th.. a cabinetmakers rule. 9.99
  3. Excellent advise. You have to work hard to get your product in the hands of people that will not only play it, but tell all their friends about it. To me, the professional studio musician is at the top of the list. Then the local player-outers. Then your regular music store patrons. If you have people that have bought your guitars, go to Harmony Central, have them fill out reviews that will get your name added to the list.
  4. Not sure how old the instrument is. I know for really old restorations you can get the inlay out.. maybe with heat and steam (unless it's epoxied in there) do you finish.. clean up the inlay bed and put it back in.. It might ride a little below the surface but you could always bump it up a level with some filler.. Then clear the whole thing. The diehard restoration guys will just redo the inlay but i don't kow what your inclination is on that.. Otherwise, check out airbrush frisket film. You could lay it on and cut out the shape.. and just try to shoot a minimal amount of black for the headstock, pull the frisket off once dried and shoot your clear, masking it like mentioned above. That kind of detailed masking though is what frisket is meant for..
  5. Hey, I know.. stick the polepieces up through the fretboard then your fretboard is the top of the bobbin.. lol. That would sound really nice when the string touches the polepiece.. but only if the polepiece is on the harmonic node.. That's an interesting idea though, the pup under the fretboard. as long as it was powerful it would probably work.. or if it had some kind of active circuit to boost the signal to accomodate the weaker signal.
  6. AllParts website is horrible to say the least. You have to have a catalog. Part 3640-002 is a horseshoe style gold vibrato only to sit behind a TOM 220 list. What a rip. The nickel version is 135 list. I assume it's the kind you're looking for. Not the full length tailpiece for archtops.. WD may be a better price. OK yeah.. they have it for 150. Never mind. The allparts one is a legit bigsby, not a licensed model. AP has a licensed model too for 150. 150 is list, if you can find a dealer you can get it cheaper. I'm a dealer with AP and WD but for one item, i wouldn't save you any money.. Here you go.. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...ssPageName=WD1V This is the real deal.. Lists for 220 so that's 60 bucks off.
  7. What does the person want to play? I am self taught, but my desire was to play rock and blues.. so for me, learning power chords, pentatonic scale and modified blues scales was where it was at. That unlocked everything for me. Now a friend of mine started taking from a guy, he was 29 at the time and had never touched a guitar. Spent a year learning from the ground up starting with scales, then chord theory and formation, then the classical progression from a theory point of view and a year later he could play almost anything. I've played for 15 years and while he think's I'M better than him, all I have going for me is confidence (i know by boxes) but I know that he knows a lot more than I do and in a year is already way more versatile than I ever will be. Makes me wish I had learned like that. I love jazz but i have no clue where to start. I barely know the names of the chords i've been playing for the last decade or so. But if the person just wants to play rock and roll.. then teach them rock and roll. It's hard now though because a lot of the progressive bands that are popular actually know their stuff and if you want to go pick apart their music you'd better know your theory..
  8. I completely overhauled my strat a few weeks ago. If you've done that much and you still have trouble.. you're probably looking at some uneven frets. I took the neck off. adjusted the truss rod till it was perfectly flat, did a level, crown and dress, put it back on and it was like night and day. A lot of strat players play with high action.. you get more tone out of a strat with 10s or 11s and a high action you can really dig into.. plus with the 7.5" radius it's easier to do bends if the action is high.. After my level job (and it was the first time I had ever done one, came out beautifully, at least by my standards) I could set the action rediculously low.Now everything else on it was fine.. nut, bridge, etc.. Are you using 9s? You might try 10s and see if the extra little bit of tension helps. Also, how did you adjust your rod? For mine, i unstrung it and adjusted the rod so the neck was perfectly level, then strung it back up and the string tension pulled just enough relief in the neck for the proper action. Anyway, hope that helps
  9. Hey I understand and appreciate that. There are some things so specialized that when you can afford them, you should get them.. but like BigD said.. there are a lot of things that you can get elsewhere that SM just resells for the convenience of the buyer. Grizzly has some great deals on pattern bit sets.. Even the 1/2" shank stuff.. I think most of StewMacs stuff is 1/4" and it's worth the little bit extra to go 1/2 and not worry about breakage. Another Grizzly find is their spiral pattern bits which are supposed to significantly reduce tearout. WOodcraft sells the whiteside bit which is 90 bucks for a 1 1/2" spiral cutter on a 1/2" shank. The same thing from grizzly is 39 bucks. 39 bucks is a small price to pay when you're dealing with 100 dollar top wood sets. I lost a piece of plain ole swamp ash to a straight flush cut bit just a week ago.. Rounding off the heel and bam.. thee went about a 3 inch chunk out of my glueup. It's worth it to sign up for Grizzly's luthier catalog. It's mostly geared for acoustic builders but it's a good source of tools and their prices are really attractive on a lot of stuff.
  10. well, admittedly.. a big part of my problem is that I enjoy building jigs.. There's a level to which the process in itself is as much fun as reaping the reward of the finished product.. I'm what you described.. getting by however I can. Luckily, one of my best friends has a full shop and his dad does too and they are consolidating and want to help me.. so I went from nothing to a shop with 2 or 3 of every power tool you can imagine. Still i'm learning my way around spokeshaves and rasps and really trying to do things the old fashioned way.. enjoy the process along the way and produce good stuff as a result.
  11. I understand your point and for the most part agree.. You have the privelege though of being established (or at least appear to me to be) in the business that I would love to be established in. With the failure rate of most businesses and ventures I can't afford to sink so much in up front that I start out in the hole. I think the majojrity of folks on this board are either hobby builders or budding/aspiring luthiers that might want to take up the next level. Sometimes you have to be thrifty and do things on the cheap to be able to afford the good stuff later. I do hope that didn't come cross at all as terse. I appreciate greately you and the other pro and semi pro luths that offer advice and participate.. but the only reason I started this thread is that this forum and site are the "project" guitar forum.. not the Professional Luthier's forum.. In fact, projectGuitar.com is full of ways to make your own jigs, tools and save some bucks because for a one-off project guitar builder, you can't afford to spend more on toos than you do your instrument. Anyway.. that's it. didn't mean anything "snotty" by it Cheers.. -marcus
  12. the olsen tour is one of the best i have seen. it's unreal what all he uses the FADAL for. I hadn't thought of in terms of making tools.. Need a dish sander? throw in a 1" thick aluminum billet and program one.. Custom clamping cauls, etc.. Read through all the different branches of olsen's page. it's no wonder he bilds such a great guitar, that guy is a genius. That thickness sander he built.. whoa.. "um.. i took a class down at the vocational school and made this thickness sander.." automatic belt centering with a pneumatic bladder and photo sensors.. I can't get over how innovative this guy is. And with all that money, he'll still scrounge parts. The overarm router on the articulating arm attached with a recycled bicycle fork was the best.
  13. yeah really. and it cracks me up that olsen uses a Fadal. Not that it dimenishes his quality in anyway.. i'm sure it it's what allowed him to jump from 40 a year to 60+ a year having a tool to cut perfect sound holes, rosette channels, etc.. His instruments are absolutely gorgeous though. Everyone has to struggle though for a while. PRSs story is interesting. The first guitars he made in his attic.. having to close his doors a few times.. Once he took off though he hit it bigtime. Carlos Santana was no doubt a big help in that.
  14. It shouldn't. Plating is not a coating.. it's a molecular bond between the plating metal and the surface.. It can wear away, as the surface of the metal is worn away but i wouldn't think it would chip. Chroming over cheap metal sometimes chips but I don't know the chroming process at all. As long as you are plating a solid piece of metal I would think you would be fine. Yeah, WD has all kinds of bigspy stuff. Allparts has a gold bigsby too.. i'm looking at it in the catalog. Part # 3640-002
  15. Sorry bout that. I've wanted to post this for a while.. but I just found the router bit thing yesterday.
  16. Absolutely beautiful. That bigsby one is the coolest. I'm a huge tele fan. Really nice all the way around. Recessed neck plate, the whole nine yards. Love em.
  17. Sounds like a winner to me.. Will definitely be a far cry from ibanez tone. Mahogany neck really warms things up. You'll be able to adjust the brighness of the overall instrument based on the ratio of maple cap to mahogany back. but the dimentions you've described sound fine.
  18. Good ole google. http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/plugnplate.htm This site is all about DIY plating with just about any kind of plating material you can imagine. I would imagine you would need to see about getting the old part sanded down and all the old plating off.. but i'm not certain. I'm sure you could call those guys and ask.
  19. Yeah.. Olsen is definitely the man. I think at this point there are plenty of other builders that can get you that kind of magic.. but he was the first celebrety luthier.. Having James Taylor, Phil Keaggy, Dave Wilcox, Paul McCartney and a whole slew of others playing your stuff doesn't hurt either. I remember when you could get an olsen for about 3500 bucks. Bargain. Yep, you read it right.. they are 12,500 now with a 2 year wait. Everetts are getting close to that now too.. He's down in atlanta.. I think he's charging over 10Gs now for one of his instruments. www.everettguitars.com
  20. I think this is easy (those other posts are all arguing advantages of locating near harmonics, and other theoretical bs) As usual, it's all about your style and what sound you want. To over simplify it, think of the difference between the 3rd and 5th position on a strat. middle pup vs the neck pup. If you like warm rhythm sounds, jazz sounds, etc.. go with 22. If you are a shredder, play a lot of solos and rarely switch off the bridge pup then go 24. If you're somewhere in between, i'd say stick with the 22. With a 24, you will never get the warm neck pup sound that you can with a 22. Knocks a huge chunk of your guitars versatility out of the picture. Most every guitarist has a favorite "zone" for soling - unless you're one of those "i know every scale up and down the fretboard" freaks like I wish I could be some days My zone is all in the 7-15 fret area, so I would never have any use for a 24.
  21. Check for a chroming shop.. there might be someone around that can do that kind of stuff. not sure what it would cost. What kind of hardware is it that you can't find in gold? You checked AllParts and WD?
  22. Cool guys. Thanks. Behlan has a whole slew of products including tha dyes and even the solid pigments. I'm anxious to try it out. I'm in east tennessee so humidity is a factor for me too but i think i can control that in my shop with a sealed off (but ventilated ) spray chamber..
  23. Woodcraft sells this product. It's nitro, and supposedly designed for wooden instrument finishing. Anyone have any experience using this product?
  24. I keep thinking there ought to be a thread dedicated to cross referencing the products that StewMac sells that anyone can buy for less money somewhere else. First is the 7/32 router bit that you have to buy for installing the Hot Rod truss rod. Get it here for 6 bucks less. http://www.routerbits.com/cgi-routerbits/s...10314558_4592+1 I'm also a big fan of the little belt sanding sticks that SM sells for fret work.. SM wants 9 bucks per stick.. You can get a 4 pack at Woodcraft for 20.99 with 20 belts.. http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=274
  25. 1st, you are a member sice nov last year and you still don't know the answer to this question???? And 2nd, I'm too lazy to look it up for you too! ← LMAO At least the dude's honest.
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